A Beautifully Broken House

Broken.  Overgrown.  Left to decay.  Mostly unnoticed despite its prominent location off of University Drive, this house stands in relative isolation.  Despite its crumbling, exterior walls  and other signs of decay, I absolutely love this house!   Its condition begs for demolition, and yet this house is still special to me.  “Why is this house so special?”  This is a question that even I continue to ask myself as I look over my pictures.  Here’s why… You see each of the bricks in picture below?  Someone laid each and every single one of those and covered them in mortar.  Another even painted the brick.

This house is a perfect example of what I was talking about in the post “Redefining Beauty.”  The house’s beauty, therefore, does not lie in the perfection of its exterior.  The house is beautiful because human hands built it, placing value in it by sacrificing their time and health to build it for another.  Although it is deserted now, people once lived in it; this, also, makes it beautiful.

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

If we have truly become a follower of Christ, it is our daily mission to grow more and more in the likeness of Christ.  If this is so, that means that our actions, beliefs, and even persecutions will mirror His.  From this verse in 1 Samuel, we learn that part of living our lives after Christ means rejecting our natural impulse to judge based on the appearance and reputation of another, but to see the heart.

Loving like Christ, then, means seeing others with all of their imperfections, yet remembering that Christ also died to save them.  We begin to see just how much Christ loves them and how they are precious to Him.  We see their hearts, and we are compelled to love them.  Christ’s love compels us….

Just like the broken house, we are broken people.  Our brokenness–from sin, from unbelief, from the fall–does not prevent the Lord from loving us.  Our hearts, this is what He sees when He looks at us, and this is why He continues to love us.  We are beautiful in His sight because He simply sees our exterior decay as an even greater back-drop for the display of His glory once He rebuilds us.

We are broken, yet in the sight of Christ, we are beautifully broken…

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We are but Stained Glass Windows

We are like a collection of broken glass.  Some of us are blue pieces stained by tears.  Other pieces are red stained by hate or by blood.  Some pieces are yellow from times of joy, purple from solitude, green from greed, black from death, and white from new life.

When we finally present ourselves to God saying, “I’m nothing but shattered glass that draws blood from the hands of those that try to save me,” God picks up every single, single, shard of broken glass that we are.  While He takes our pieces and begins to arrange them, we watch blood drip from His healing hands, and yet He keeps working, making beauty out of our brokenness.

Finally when He has no more blood to bleed, He steps back and says, “It is finished.”  It is only then after He speaks those words and His Light shines through us that we see that we are no longer a pile of broken glass, but that He made us into a stained glass window, light filtering through each and every single stained piece of glass.  It is then that we realize that the colors that once were only of hate, blood, death, fear, loneliness, and sadness serve as the beautiful and perfect contrast to those of joy, hope, and love.

This is what God has to offer you: to take you for all the pieces of broken glass that you are and turn you into a beautiful, stained glass window illuminated by His Light of love.  All you have to do is believe that the blood He shed to turn your brokenness into something beautiful was the blood that He, through Jesus Christ, shed on this Good Friday 2000 years ago.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross once said, “People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in, their true beauty is only revealed only if there is a light within.”  Bring all of your brokenness to God, every bit of shard glass that you are.  He has already poured out His blood so that He may pick up your pieces and turn you into a radiant window of stained glass.  Let Him be the Light that reveals your true beauty from within.

Praying that you become the most beautifully-illuminated, stained-glass window,

Sarah 🙂